The 9th of August has great significance as not only is it my birthday but is also a day dedicated to commemorate and celebrate the amazing women of our society. This public holiday dates back in history to the women’s march in 1956 to the Union Building in Pretoria, where about 20 000 women participated amongst the likes of Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa to express their disagreement with apartheid segregation laws. As much as the protest was about racial discrimination it also highlighted the gender inequalities that stereotyped women to supposedly be weaker than men. These women wanted to show that they are indeed equal to the opposite sex and can fight just as strongly for their rights too. More so the protest song they sang “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo!” which translates to the well-known saying “ You strike a woman, you strike a rock!” depicts exactly what strong characters women have and roles the play in society.
Unfortunately as much as we have tried to redress the imbalances of the past, they still do exist. A month like August where we celebrate all the strong women is the perfect time to highlight, even in our present society what an important role women play. Fore me, women ideally are the backbones of many households, as a wife, mother and support structure. Despite the great impact they have on our daily lives, there unfortunately is still cruelty that women face from sexual harassment, abuse, inequalities to workplace discrimination despite the important roles they play.
Therefore as we embark on this Women’s month may we acknowledge and celebrate all the great women in society not only for this day or month but all the time. Just as rich as this day is in history so we should enrich our women of today too especially my mother who spent my first women’s day giving me life! – written by WHARNEY ELLIOTT